The resin wheel set from Pro Art Models can be considered a supplement to their Dumvee conversion set for Tamiya Humvee kit (review here
). Dumvees - "Desert Humvees" - are modified Humvee trucks customized for use by Special Forces units. While many of them use standard Humvee tires, particularly the new pattern tires as those included in the Pro Art Dumvee set, very common are also "Super Swamper" tires with complex tread pattern on the face and sides of the tire. As far as I know the Pro Art new set is the first attempt to make this kind of wheels in 1/35 scale. Super Swamper tires are sporadically used on other Humvee variants as well (Pro Art suggests using them on M1114 uparmored Humvees), but these are very rare occurrences and I have heard that at one point during the OIF the use of these tires was for some reason forbidden in most regular US units.
In a small box we get five complete resin wheels: two front ones, two rear ones and one spare wheel. Wheels are cast in cream colored resin and come with pouring blocks already mostly removed. There are no air bubble holes or any other blemishes in them, so almost no cleanup is necessary. The four main wheels have resin axles cast on the inner sides of the rims - the same as in Tamiya kit, so they directly replace kit wheels without the need for any modifications. Front and rear wheels have different hub details as they should. Spare wheel is cast with the holding disc on the back side of the rim, but it is too small and it looks like Pro Art designer misinterpreted photos of real Dumvees. On the newer style Humvee rim are two circles of bolts/nuts – outer one with 12 bolts holding rim halves together and inner one with eight bolts attaching the wheel to the axle. Spare wheels are carried without any bolts in the inner circle (the same way we carry spare wheels in our cars – without bolts in them) and when the wheel is attached to spare wheel carrier, the flat metal disc covers the large hole in the rim center, but also the inner circle of bolt holes. The disc diameter is smaller than the outer circle of bolts. Unfortunately the disc in cast on Pro Art wheel is smaller than the inner circle of bolts and the wheel is cast with all bolts in this circle present, while there should be none – just holes covered by disc on the back side of the wheel. The outer circle of bolt heads is on the other hand completely missing from the back side of the rim. These are quite minor problems, but still worth mentioning.
The tread pattern is very nicely reproduced and is a good scale replica of the real thing. Good, but not perfect – the chevron shaped blocks on the center of tire face are a bit undersized. Also the pattern on the tire side does not reach deep enough to the wheel center – the flat area of the tire side is a bit too big. The sides of the tire are not bulged enough and this actually also disrupts the tread pattern there, as blocks are too small – simply because there is not enough space on a flatter tire wall for correctly sized blocks. This also means that Pro Art new tires seem to be slightly too narrow. They are definitely narrower than original Tamiya kit tires and I believe they should be the same width, if not wider. These small shape and pattern inaccuracies are only noticeable when you compare Pro Art wheels directly to photos of real things – on their own they look excellent and are unmistakably recognizable as Super Swampers. In case anyone had doubts however, there is a “Super Swamper” name embossed on both sides of each resin wheel plus some other symbols. These markings are very nicely done, although too my eye are slightly too big – probably because the flat area of the tire wall around the rim on which they are applied is a bit too big as well.
In general the new Pro Art product despite minor inaccuracies is very good and I highly recommend it to all modelers who purchased or plan to purchase Pro Art Dumvee conversion set. You can always use new style standard wheels included in that set with regular Humvee kit and replace them with cool looking Super Swampers on your Dumvee.
Many thanks to Dirk Vangeel of ProArt Models for the review sample!